Bulletin of the Marx Memorial Library


Bulletin of the Marx Memorial Library (1988), 110, (1), 9


VISIT TO THE USSR The Marx-Engels Museum in Moscow has started an original new programme for some of the displays in its restored and enlarged premises. It is collecting together literature and other material from the labour and progressive movements of all countries that illustrate their activities over the past five years. Meanwhile, the Museum is closed, but its Director, Nicholai Ivanov, a good friend of the Marx Memorial Library, together with his staff are busy shifting exhibits and gathering in the material for the new exhibition of contemporary left political activities. The Museum is part of the Institute of Marxism-Leninism, and we were delighted that we were able also to have an informal meeting with the chief of the Marx-Engels English Language Section, Velta Pespolova, who had been on a delegation to our Library in September 1987. We were able to take some material, promised by our delegation to the Institute the previous year, in particular some notes on Engels, taken from Eddie Hayes's recordings of interviews with Robin Page Amot. Mrs. Pespolova and her staff were greatly interested in the progress at our Library, and were especially keen for us to supply a copy of the card index of the J ames Klugmann Collection of Radical/Chartist material. From this will flow a two-way stream of information of the period, covered by the Klugmann Collection. This same card index also intrigued members of the Saltykov-Shedrin State Public Library, whose new Director, Vladimir Nicholaivich Zeitsev, we were also privileged to meet. He, too, told us of their expansion plans, which include a new building to be completed in four years with space for twenty million books, and reading rooms for two thousand readers. We also heard of some of their plans to celebrate the 175th, anniversary on 14th. January, 1989, of their foundation. These will feature a public exhibition of rare books, pictures, manuscripts, publications by the library's staff and the restoration work carried out on old books and manuscripts by the Library. Our desire to formalise and expand the relationship between our two libraries was warmly welcomed by Mr. Zeitsev- cemented by an exchange of presents. From the Saltykov-Shedrin Library we heard some details of the serious fire on 14th. February, 1988 at the Library of the Academy of Sciences in Leningrad that had destroyed or damaged much in the news-paper and rare books collections. Staff from both libraries had helped by drying material in their homes, and the restoration experts of the Saltykov-Shedrin Library had tried to save surviving material from fungus growth- something that will strike chords of sympathy from our Library, after our own experience of fungal damage in our basement before restoration. The Academy of Sciences has already had world-wide help, and was especially pleased with the assistance from the Library of Congress of the USA. - MARGARET and CHRISTOPHER BRUNEL. 9

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